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Broad-scale variation in taxonomic richness is strongly correlated with climate. Many mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain these patterns; however, testable predictions that would distinguish among them have rarely been derived. Here, we examine several prominent hypotheses for climate–richness relationships, deriving and testing predictions based(More)
The diversity of life is ultimately generated by evolution, and much attention has focused on the rapid evolution of ecological traits. Yet, the tendency for many ecological traits to instead remain similar over time [niche conservatism (NC)] has many consequences for the fundamental patterns and processes studied in ecology and conservation biology. Here,(More)
Aim We surveyed the empirical literature to determine how well six diversity hypotheses account for spatial patterns in species richness across varying scales of grain and extent. Location Worldwide. Methods We identified 393 analyses ('cases') in 297 publications meeting our criteria. These criteria included the requirement that more than one diversity(More)
We compiled 46 broadscale data sets of species richness for a wide range of terrestrial plant, invertebrate, and ectothermic vertebrate groups in all parts of the world to test the ability of metabolic theory to account for observed diversity gradients. The theory makes two related predictions: (1) In-transformed richness is linearly associated with a(More)
Biologists have long searched for mechanisms responsible for the increase in species richness with decreasing latitude. The strong correlation between species richness and climate is frequently interpreted as reflecting a causal link via processes linked to energy or evolutionary rates. Here, we investigate how the aggregation of clades, as dictated by(More)
Studies mostly focused on communities of primary producers have shown that species richness provides and promotes fundamental ecosystem services. However, we know very little about the factors influencing ecosystem services provided by higher trophic levels in natural food webs. Here we present evidence that differences in food web structure and the(More)
We tested for the existence of latitudinal gradients in the body sizes of butterflies in North America, Europe, Australia and the Afrotropics. We initially compared body sizes (measured as male forewing length) of all butterflies found in 5° latitudinal bands in each region, and then evaluated the relationship between body size and latitude statistically(More)